Lobster Season Safety Program Held July 25

Revive Your Dive! is a FREE one-day event where divers receive services and training to become better prepared for the diving activities of Florida's busiest diving time - Lobster Season. Divers will receive a PADI Scuba Review course, a dive fitness consultation from medics with Divers Alert Network, and a scuba equipment inspection.

Oil, Oil, Everywhere! (Well, Actually, No...)

Oil Rig

July 7, 2010: Seas covered with a thick, oily sludge. Wrecks and reefs decimated by an onslaught of black goo. Divers lost in a sea of black, inky water. It’s a nightmare image — except that it hasn’t happened yet (and quite possibly won’t…at least not as some seem to be imagining it). As is so often the case, the greatest damage to Florida’s dive industry is not coming from the outpouring of oil from the Deepwater Horizon site, but rather from a misunderstanding of how this tragedy has affected the Sunshine State and may continue to do so in the future.

Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival


Dive into “Waterland” July 10: Divers and snorkelers might encounter Alice in Waterland, the Cheshire Catfish and their fictional friends beneath the sea during the 26th annual Underwater Music Festival, set for Saturday, July 10, in the Lower Florida Keys. The quirky underwater concert takes place at Looe Key Reef, an area of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary approximately six miles south of Big Pine Key. Each year, the subsea songfest draws as many as 600 divers and snorkelers to explore the colorful diversity of marine life that characterizes continental America’s only living coral barrier reef.

Give the Airlines the Finger. Drive and Dive Florida Instead.


First the airlines reduced the checked baggage allowance from 70 pounds per bag to 50. Then they started charging for that second bag. Then the first. Recently, one airline attempted to start charging for carry on bags. Could it get worse? Yes. In Europe, some airlines will charge you a whole euro if you want to go to the bathroom on flights under one hour. Then there is the hassle of having to check in hours early, and waiting in endless lines at security — while a TSA employee stands by menacingly with a machine that is all too reminiscent of one of those alien probes from science fiction.

March is Florida Archaeology Month

FAM Poster

Every March the state of Florida celebrates its history, archaeology, and heritage with a month-long celebration. Sponsored by an assortment of state agencies, Florida Archaeology Month (FAM) aims to acquaint citizens and visitors with the spectacular remains of our state’s past located underground and underwater. Educational events and outreach activities are designed to encourage people to learn about Florida’s past and about how they can help to protect these fragile and non-renewable resources.

Spring 2010 Heritage Awareness Diving Seminar


In beginning scuba courses, new divers are taught to protect natural resources, like how to control their buoyancy to avoid breaking coral, so why aren’t they also taught to protect shipwrecks and underwater cultural resources? Toward this end the Florida Public Archaeology Network and the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research developed the Heritage Awareness Diving Seminar (HADS). The purpose of the Seminar is to explain the advantages of conserving shipwrecks and other submerged cultural resources, not only to preserve information about our collective past, but also to preserve the vibrant ecosystems that grow around shipwrecks.

Sunken Treasure Brings $1.6 Million


Daniel Frank Sedwick recently conducted a live, on-line auction of treasures recovered from sunken ships. Total bids amounted to more than $1.6 million. Some of the highest priced items, like a gold Escudo Mexican cob dated 1709, sold for $46,000. There were more than 70 other gold Escudos on the block along with hundreds of silver cobs and minted coins.

National Geographic Photo Contest Winner

Winning Photo

Bill Goodwin and his wife, Donna, reside in Birmingham, Alabama, and have been frequent scuba diving visitors to Bonaire and the island’s reefs since 2004. Both enjoy underwater photography. Bill’s shot of a peppermint shrimp in a sponge, taken at Margate Bay, was entered into a photographic competition sponsored by National Geographic magazine, where it won top prize. There were 208,000 entries from 28 countries in 20 different language editions of the magazine. Bill placed first place in the Nature category in the English language National Geographic contest, but his image then went on to win first place in the worldwide competition.

NOAA Seeks Public Comment


NOAA seeks comment on a proposed rule prohibiting the discharge of sewage from vessels into Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary waters and to require vessel sewage tanks be locked to prevent discharges within sanctuary boundaries. Vessel sewage discharge has been prohibited in state waters of the sanctuary since their designation as a No Discharge Zone by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2002. Although 65 percent of the sanctuary is within state waters, the remaining federal waters, with the exception of specially-protected zones, currently permit vessel sewage discharge.

HMS Victory Case Settled

John Balchin

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc., pursuant to an agreement reached with the UK Government, filed a motion to dismiss and vacate the warrant for the arrest which was filed in the US District Court on Admiral Balchin’s HMS Victory, a 100 gun ship of the line lost in 1744 in the English Channel. The UK Government has agreed to pay Odyssey a salvage award of 80 percent as compensation for the artifacts which have been recovered from the site and submitted to the UK Receiver of Wreck. A valuation of approximately $200,000 has been agreed for the two cannon recovered from the site, providing for a salvage award of approximately $160,000.

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